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Jonathan Weisman and Thomas E. Ricks report on the new Democratic war funding strategy in the House.

House Democratic leaders are coming together around legislation that would fund the war through September but would withhold more than half of those funds until July, when Bush would have to report on the Iraqi government's progress toward benchmarks such as quelling sectarian violence, disarming militias and sharing oil revenue equitably. Congress would then have to vote in late July to release the remaining funds...

The new House proposal would immediately provide about $43 billion of the $95.5 billion the administration says it needs to keep the war going through Sept. 30. That infusion would come with language establishing benchmarks of success for the Iraqi government, and it is likely to include tougher standards for resting, training and equipping troops. Binding timelines for troop withdrawals would be dropped to try to win Republican support and avoid a second veto.

The remaining $52.5 billion in the bill would be contingent on a second vote in late July, after the administration's progress report.

I like this strategy very much.  It is more imaginative than anything I have come up with and anything I have noticed bandied about the internets.  It should easily pass the House.  In the Senate?

The bill, which could come to a House vote as early as Friday, faces significant obstacles in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) wants to allow the House debate to unfold, in part to see whether the plan will appeal to Republicans.

I don't think we need to worry too much about the Senate.  It should pass.  We may have some pesky amendments to overcome, but it should pass.  

This is what I wanted.  Make the President keep coming back for more money and in a weaker position each time.  Combined with standards on rest, equipment, and training for the troops, the bill will essentially end the war by the so-called 'slow bleed' approach.  And, yet, it is flexible enough to allow the military to plan ahead and for Congress to react to unforeseen circumstances.  

No wonder,

...White House spokesman Tony Snow pronounced the bill "not helpful."

Kudos to the Democratic leadership.  This is good thinking.

Originally posted to www.boomantribune.com on Mon May 07, 2007 at 10:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Better than (156+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wozzle, Mike, Ed in Montana, Trix, pb, Night Owl, Mogolori, talex, kiwing, espresso, xy109e3, Rolfyboy6, MontanaMaven, Categorically Imperative, Shockwave, Sherri in TX, CaptUnderpants, jrod, jdld, bawbie, Sandy on Signal, freelunch, Luam, Matilda, MarkInSanFran, exNYinTX, RubDMC, opinionated, Boston Boomer, bronte17, riverrun, Wee Mama, elveta, OCD, Welshman, ask, Glic, scamp, Miss Blue, librarianman, fumie, Janet Strange, kharma, hhex65, missreporter, sgoldinger, 2dot, Dood Abides, Brian82, CabinGirl, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, SanDiegoDem, kd texan, adigal, bibble, Timroff, greeseyparrot, rapala, nailbender, 3goldens, ichibon, blueyedace2, Five of Diamonds, Sam I Am, ek hornbeck, PBen, Philoguy, ejmw, clammyc, dewtx, Karmafish, GreyHawk, annefrank, Geekesque, Thaddaeus Toad, wardlow, pacotrey, sodalis, LithiumCola, tony the American Mutt, world traveler, Rogneid, oibme, Ekaterin, psyched, fhcec, begone, esquimaux, Jennifer Clare, tarheelblue, Keone Michaels, Ky DEM, DC Scott, Gorette, Yellow Canary, deha, mango, nibit25, greenearth, Hobbitfoot, blueoasis, sullynyc, SherriG, StrayCat, cRedd, Glorfindel, slandurgurl, real world chick, NearlyNormal, bleeding heart, ER Doc, edgery, SingerInTheChoir, rage, spotDawa, Texdude50, kurious, Snarcalita, duha, coolsub, DBunn, goon 01, One Pissed Off Liberal, Bob Guyer, Femlaw, ddriscoll, FishOutofWater, kath25, Ticonderoga, DWG, phoenixdreamz, RudiB, slowheels, Brass Tacks, exreaganite, leonard145b, madgranny, keikekaze, bluesweatergirl, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, Skulnick, I, brklyngrl, califdem, Foundmyvoice, portorcliff, zashvil, Lucius Vorenus, cumberland sibyl, Mannabass, Happy Days, dewley notid, landogriffin, MsWings, noddem

    a hole in the head.

  •  Thanks for the news. (13+ / 0-)

    Much better than I had feared.

    Or than we were told by the WaPo which still has not corrected it's reporting on this issue as far as I know.

    •  yes (8+ / 0-)

      it's a concession to reality but not much of a concession at all, really.

      •  Booman, why do you feel that the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MarkInSanFran

        . . . bill ultimately will pass the Senate?

        Thanks for the diary!

        "[W]e shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets . . . we shall never surrender[.]"

        by Miss Butter on Mon May 07, 2007 at 11:30:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They should have sent the same bill (10+ / 0-)

        back.  No more blood for Bush.

        We cannot wait until September.

        "We've got to save America from this President." John Edwards 4/3/07

        by TomP on Tue May 08, 2007 at 05:34:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But sending the same bill back... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sam I Am, mcartri
          could result in a lot more blood for Bush, if he vetoed it again and could get 34 Republican Senators or 146 Republican Representatives to sustain the veto.  

          Defunding by attrition, in the sense of simply not sending him more money (at least not in a form that he will either sign or have his veto overridden with respect to), is riskier than a "clean" defunding like Reid-Feingold would be if we could somehow pass it, because there's no legal restriction effectively saying that after a certain specific date all of the troops have to be out.  So all the things Russ Feingold says about defunding not meaning that the troops don't have enough supplies don't entirely apply.  Bush can (legally) keep the troops in theater as their supplies slowly dwindle and he moves funds around to try to make ends meet, effectively holding the troops hostage and betting that in this game of chicken we'll blink first because we care about the troops more than he does.  And enough Republicans may well be able to cover themselves with the fig leaf that the Democratic majority could blink just as easily as Bush could, so why is the onus on them to override Bush's vetoes (or convict him in an impeachment trial) and end the crisis?

          Without a 2/3 vote of at least the Senate, there is simply no way that I can see to stop the war without the risk of a great deal more "blood", because without a 2/3 vote of at least the Senate we can neither order Bush to withdraw the troops nor remove him from office.

          •  I disagree. (4+ / 0-)

            If he vetoed it again, send it back again.  Do not capitulate to Bush.  Don't let him hold troops hostage.

            "We've got to save America from this President." John Edwards 4/3/07

            by TomP on Tue May 08, 2007 at 06:41:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, one can always take the position... (0+ / 0-)
              that one simply doesn't negotiate with hostage-takers.  (Which isn't quite the same as not "letting" Bush hold the troops hostage; I think we need to acknowledge that he can do so whether we want to let him do so or not.)  It's a high-risk strategy, though, and some of the hostages may die before you can rescue them.  

              In this case, rescuing the hostages would require Republican help: we'd need a 2/3 vote in the Senate either to remove Bush (and then Cheney) from office following an impeachment trial, or (along with a 2/3 vote in the House) to pass a binding law that would cause the SecDef and generals to withdraw the troops whether Bush wanted them to or not.  You may have a different view than I do regarding how many troops would die before we could pull off such a "rescue".

              •  so what happens (5+ / 0-)

                ...when July comes and the Iraqis fail to meet any of their benchmarks? Do we then get serious about defunding the war?

                I just don't understand why we're punting the ball down the field, and going on record for funding the war yet again for another half of a Friedman.

                "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

                by CaptUnderpants on Tue May 08, 2007 at 07:07:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We're punting because (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mcartri

                  it will get the Rs back to the districts so they can hear their constituents.

                  I think when they do that, they'll suddenly decide that the troops need to come home sooner rather than later, or they'll decide that they don't need to run again.

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
              I think that each time he vetoes it, they should make the withdrawal time line harsher. Veto it this time, it's October. Veto it next time, it's August.  Enough playing politics here! Our young men and women are dying and they deserve better than cowardly politicking. The American people have spoken loud and clear about wanting this war to end. Either they make arrangements to get our troops out of harms' way or they get nothing! Just my $.02

              "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." -Oscar Wilde

              by green917 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 10:18:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  well (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mother of Zeus

            Getting a 2/3 vote to withdraw troops is a heck of a lot different than getting a 2/3 vote for impeachment.

            I understand that, without a funding bill, he could rob Peter to pay Paul for a while and keep the war going for a bit longer on his own. But eventually, he has to bring the troops home without more money. What, is he really going to leave the troops in Iraq without rations, or pay, or more supplies, and just point to the Democrats and say "it's all their fault" without getting them back home? I don't think so.

            "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

            by CaptUnderpants on Tue May 08, 2007 at 07:13:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What cover will they have? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            green917, chumley

            And enough Republicans may well be able to cover themselves with the fig leaf

            How so?

            I think this is the big unanswered for everyone.  What if Bush keeps them there and supplies dwindle or he tries to take funds from other things?  What happens then?

            I think at that point we get the votes to override. I honestly do.  The onus is on them because THEIR President is the one conducting an illegal occupation that Americans hate.  The onus is on them because the Dems tried to get the troops the funds with a date to bring them home which is what the people want.  The onus is on them becuase THEY ARE WRONG and everyone knows it.  Bush may not give a shit about his approval rating, but damn those Republicans in Congress do.

            The onus is on them becuase it is about their political survival.

            I don't know what goodies the Democratic whores in Congress are extracting for their agreement to backpeddle, but I sure hope they are good.

            This is not a shrewd or courageous strategy they are proposing at all.  It is bullshit.  We deserve better.  I'm really ticked off right now, can you tell?

    •  The House Could Defund All By Itself (22+ / 0-)

      Everything else takes the Senate and the President to go along.

      Stop playing games.

      It's long past time to leave Iraq.

      Let's end this thing now.

      For a different perspective, check out Green Commons!

      by GreenSooner on Tue May 08, 2007 at 12:17:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not in the same, neat and tidy sense... (0+ / 0-)
        that something like Reid/Feingold would "defund" if it passed.  

        Classic defunding of the Reid/Feingold sort is effectively an order not to take a certain action (in this case, not to continue the war beyond a certain date) because it requires as a matter of law that no funds whatsoever be spent on that activity, and the government can't do things for free.  But the House can't write that sort of requirement into law by itself.  The only thing the House can do on its own is a potentially much messier sort of defunding-by-attrition, where it remains legal for the President to spend whatever money's left on continuing the war for as long as he can, but he gradually runs out of money.  In that situation, unless and until 2/3 of Republicans in at least the Senate vote either to override his veto or remove him following an impeachment trial, nothing stops Bush from keeping the troops in Iraq with dwindling supplies and hoping that Democrats will blink first because they care about the troops more than he does.

        Perhaps you think that forcing a defunding-by-attrition crisis is the best way to get the 2/3 vote we need, which is a defensible position (albeit one I don't think I agree with because of the potential cost to the troops while the crisis works itself out).  But I believe you're wrong to conflate what the House can do by itself with "true" neat-and-tidy defunding, or to contend that the House can really bring this to an end (of a tolerable sort) without any help from the Senate or the President.

    •  Surge cometh before a fall n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Night Owl, cotterperson, Sam I Am
  •  So instead of putting the onus on Bush (14+ / 0-)

    they're putting it on the Iraqi government?

    That's the question that's in my mind right now.

    I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

    by Tamifah on Mon May 07, 2007 at 10:38:23 PM PDT

    •  I'm just having a hard time understanding (19+ / 0-)

      why this is a good thing?

      The Iraqi parliament is on vacation for the next two months...so what are they going to accomplish?

      How does this quicken the end of the war?

      I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Mon May 07, 2007 at 10:41:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  how about putting some requirements on... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, NC Dem, MouseOfSuburbia

      England? Saudi Arabia?

      Really, the point is to put the requirements on the unitary president/king bush.

      •  Forget the UK (19+ / 0-)

        We could pull out tomorrow if it didn't upset the alliance.

        I have always meant to write a diary about how to accept defeat the British way, that makes it seem like a victory.

        Have you not noticed those recent ceremonial handing over of bases to the Iraqi Army around Basra? Full colour parade, bugles and swords?  Salutes and tradition. Photos of generals for the media and dignified announcements?

        There is an art to getting out of a country with dignity. We have had loads of experience.

        Now we will be able to add a touch of Prince Harry to the ceremonial. And the British public will regard the retreat as a historic triumph along the lines of Dunkirk.

        Ah, my American friends. As soon as you come to accept that the Charge of the Light Brigade was not a gross act of stupidity but a glorious sacrifice you will learn how to withdraw from Iraq. There is no winning and losing - these are frontier concepts. For the Brits there is only playing the game.

        •  LMAO! Too cool. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          This sentence has threee erors.

          by MouseOfSuburbia on Tue May 08, 2007 at 02:57:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Victory in Iraq Day -- Bring it on (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Welshman

          accept defeat the British way . . . Full colour parade, bugles and swords . . .There is an art to getting out of a country with dignity. We have had loads of experience.

          I like it.  Some argue that setting an artificial date for "retreat" helps the "enemy" plan, but it seems to me that there can be no down side to setting an artificial date for our victory.  We can declare that day to be Victory in Iraq day (VI) and plan big events.

          I seem to remember that there is already a big fund somewhere inside the pentagon's money bags that was earmarked for the victory celebration.

          I say bring it on.  We can do the military pomp thing almost as well as the Brits.

        •  And history will report... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Welshman

            that with the leadership of Prince Henry in only a few brief months on the frontline, the British troops were able to shift the democratic mantle to the able warriors from Iraq and have our troops return home victorious. We Americans aren't that smart. We just hide the facts from the public and refuse to allow the media to report the truth because they will lose their tax benefits. Either way, the citizens of both nations lose.

          Eisenhower- "We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage."

          by NC Dem on Tue May 08, 2007 at 07:27:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You would think (0+ / 0-)

          that Mr. PhotoOp would figure that out by now.

          Make it look good for a day or two, then get the hell out and don't look back.

          It worked for New Orleans...

      •  Not even England. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chumley, NC Dem

        Saudi Arabia has done squat for their neighbors all along.

        Bush gave them a free pass for 9/11.

        As best as I can tell, the Saudi government has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

        They should be the ones trying to prevent a civil war in Iraq. We are in no position to do that. They don't want Iran on their doorstep? Then they should stand up the Sunnis because that is what is going to happen. Unless, of course, Bush expands the war first.

        People can boast about Petraeus all they want but so far our military (and civilian) leadership has been totally incompetent.

        I didn't expect an apology from Rumsfeld because he, like his brethren, are not only pathetic idiots, they are insane. However, I do/did expect apologies from Franks, Abizaid, George Casey, etc. for taking us into the war without at least reading a fucking book about the region and for not shooting Bremer on sight. Talk about one person making their job difficult.

        And for not maintaining discipline up and down the ranks, especially with the contractors. You don't outsource a fucking war. They talk about the average citizen not being vested in the war, I'd argue that the military isn't even fully vested.

        And for pandering to Thing 1 and Thing 2. I wouldn't be surprised if we see photos someday of these generals modeling woman's underwear for George Bush because he said so.

        Rumsfeld genuinely thought that our technology was so overwhelming that he couldn't concieve of a situation where we could be challenged. It was up to the other generals, once in theatre, to point out that the 'enemy' does not have a tour. That it doesn't take a fucking wild imagination to see that maybe the 'enemy' sees themselves as fighting foreign invaders and that it might cause them to fight hard.

        For the love of Christ, $600 billion on the war and they have us bottled up with electric garage door openers and explosive vests. Maybe we should have got some of those.

        This sentence has threee erors.

        by MouseOfSuburbia on Tue May 08, 2007 at 02:56:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  not quite (0+ / 0-)

      Since Bush has already put the onus on the Iraqi government in the form of benchmarks, we're indirectly putting the onus on Bush.

      "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

      by CaptUnderpants on Tue May 08, 2007 at 04:22:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kickemout

        that's the only way that the Republicans will be peeled away from Bush. We will use the same Iraqi Parliament that we have supported thus far no matter how inept or incompetent they are. Bush and most of Congress will hang in this occupation until the oil agreement is signed that basically gives Cheney his victory that he planned from before 9/11. They know this gives the oil companies huge profits and insures that the country has oil even though at a higher price for 20 more years.
         Let's end this damn occupation. It is their land. It is their oil. It is their elected government. We started this mess with lies and deceit. Let's don't place the blame on the Iraqi's because they are incompetent/unable to stop the civil war that we have created. It was our government's fault. Let's apologize and work with Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others and move out before war erupts with Iran.
         One more rant since I have had my 5th cup of java. Our media and military and Bush/Cheney continue to pound in the fact that Iran is playing a part in the fight of our occupation. Think about this. In 2003, Bush labels them as part of the evil three. We have military bases throughout the Middle East. Since 2001, we have invaded Afghanistan on one side and then Iraq on the other side. We are building permanent bases for our troops in Iraq. I'm sorry folks but our government stepped on the trip wire. Iran has the right to be involved. We have stopped their involvement on the diplomatic side so what is left. They must try to protect their country from the American bully. Think about this for a minute. How would we in the US react if China were to occupy a section of Mexico with force to gain access to a natural resource that they needed to make their corporations run efficiently. They begin to build military bases and move in missiles and place navel carriers off our coast near Washington and LA. Sounds absolutely ridiculous, right? Well that's what the Iranians are thinking right now.
         Get our troops out of Iraq now. No more funding. No more political games that cause more loss of lives. If we allow our politicians to run out this war until 2008 there will be mistakes and the Middle East will explode.

      Eisenhower- "We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage."

      by NC Dem on Tue May 08, 2007 at 07:16:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'Twould be nice (11+ / 0-)

    tougher standards for resting, training and equipping troops

    At this point, I think most of them would be thrilled to be "equipped" with a tube of toothpaste and a pair of socks.

    http://www.lategreatflatratedate.info

    The Senate is the last bastion of white supremacy. --Andrew Gumbel

    by Free Spirit on Mon May 07, 2007 at 10:39:47 PM PDT

  •  But doesn't Preznit Chucklenuts (9+ / 0-)

    ... take his vacation every July (and August)?  He'll have to skip out on a VFW dinner to rail against the congress!  How rude!

    "If I don't get my crackers, I'm going to get angry." -7.50; -6.21

    by sgoldinger on Mon May 07, 2007 at 10:41:22 PM PDT

  •  Funding with Accountability (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sgoldinger, ek hornbeck, greenearth, cRedd

    This is good, now they just need to frame the debate. This is full funding with accountability. After all, Bush is always talking about accountability for everyone else.

    "George W. Bush in the right man to lead us in the era of post-whatever horrible calamity he leads us into next." John Oliver

    by aprichard on Mon May 07, 2007 at 10:44:14 PM PDT

  •  Reframing "slow bleed" (5+ / 0-)

    It's not a "slow bleed" as Cheney likes to sneer.  It's called "a responsible restructuring of American involvement."  That that restructuring should call for our troops being properly armed, rested and cared for while also forcing the Iraqi government to meet specific goals?  All the better.

    Great post!  I like this idea very much, too.  Our leaders just need to pay more attention to the language wars: particularly with phrases like "slow bleed."

    "I'm living in an age that calls darkness light." -Arcade Fire, "My Body Is A Cage"

    by electricgrendel on Mon May 07, 2007 at 10:47:34 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately, it IS a "slow bleed" (10+ / 0-)

      I know, I know, best-we-can-do-under-the-circumstances, reality-based, blah, blah, fuckin blah.

      The Anti-War Majority in this country knows this war is a disastrous waste.  The Anti-War Majority in this country wants us to get our asses out of there -- NOW.

      Hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis are going to bleed and die because our pidgeon-breasted politicians are too busy saving face to save lives.

      I know, I'm one of those left-wing pie-in-the-sky radicals too rigid and idealistic to deal with the reality of political solutions.

      I got there because I fought in Vietnam in 1970-71, long after all illusions of "victory" had vanished.  I watched fine American men die for politicians' vanity.  

      Yeah, I'm a fuckin radical. Experience made me so.

      When you know it's over, you get the fuck out.  Case closed.

      It's over in Iraq.  

      Get the fuck out.

      Soldiers are required to do their jobs when politicians fail to do theirs

      by leftvet on Tue May 08, 2007 at 12:32:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Synchronizing with the budget cycle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ek hornbeck, greenearth

    Is a good idea, and funding through September means any extension could be put into the standard budget process. That allows us to force a little honesty on the budget effects and makes any compromises harder to veto. Bush will look like a psycho hypocrite if he vetoes this since it's basically everything he said was desirable (very different from what he wants since he's such a liar). Full funding, benchmarks for the Iraqis, and shortened rotations for the troops.  What redblooded American could refuse?

  •  Some Scenarios (5+ / 0-)

    While the debate continues until what now seem like the "drop dead" sometime in September, the death toll in Iraq will continue. It could just be a slow bleed at the pace of the last few months. Or, as the military predicted today, the pace could pick up. The violent pace could pick up to the point that the consensus among everybody except Bush, Cheney, McCain and Lieberman is that September is too far away. The public might be a head of the politicians in calling for us to get out yesterday if not sooner.

    •  I thought most people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MO Blue, JML9999

      weren't looking for an immediate Vietnam-style evacuation

      I thought most people wanted a slower drawdown over the next year

      I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Mon May 07, 2007 at 11:06:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unless we abandon all the equipment (6+ / 0-)

        to safely remove our people and equipment from Iraq is a 6 month effort. Problem no body is working on plans to do this

        Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

        by JML9999 on Mon May 07, 2007 at 11:12:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wrong, they are planning (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, Fabian, JML9999

          My girlfriend's unit is lined up for a deploy in the region in October. They're a specialty medical unit and she can't say exactly where she is going, but it sounds like an air base security gig. Strange thing is it'll only be thirty days ... they say its training, but I'm expecting a surprise phone call around Halloween telling me the month stretched to a year.

          "History furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government." - Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence

          by Iowa Boy on Tue May 08, 2007 at 12:46:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  But the Article's In the Washington Pravda (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley, foxglove, SherriG, Joelarama, JML9999

    I don't know if I can trust it; I can't even be sure it's an article about Iraq.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon May 07, 2007 at 11:17:17 PM PDT

    •  If the ComPost is right that's a 50% rate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalLiberal, MO Blue

      of accuracy on the Dem's position going forward on Iraq funding.

      That's pretty good, isn't it?

    •  It's not just that it's in the WaPo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nasarius

      it's that Weisman is on the byline and he just had a piece published which falsely trashed the Dem's on this very issue.  

      Any discussion that hinges on the reporting of this guy (or this paper, for that matter) is not worth having.  

      If Ricks is known as a straight shooter whose reporting is reliable, then I wouldn't treat it as skeptically, but I'd still wait for confirmation from other papers before giving it credence.  

      Throwing in my two cents from the South Bay of L.A. at From the Fever Swamp

      by PeteB2 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 05:56:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is is "noteworthy" for Tony Snow to say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddhistMonkey, cici414

    "Not Helpful" vs Something like "Non-Starter" or "D.O.A." etc

    Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Mon May 07, 2007 at 11:30:30 PM PDT

  •  Condi's Iraqi travel agency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc

    This is a rehash of an earlier comment I made, but I seriously think that the Bush administration suggested that the Iraqi government take a "vacation". This makes perfect sense with the September timeframe that the military and others are quoting for showing some progress in Iraq. Being on vacation allows the Iraqi officials to deny any complicity in any of the actions that our troops take while they are gone. The administration feels it needs a free hand to accomplish its goals by September. Having the government of Iraq out of the picture gives them that opportunity.

  •  Stunning (13+ / 0-)

    How the corporate interest is obscured and this eliminated from recognition for what it is;

    Bush would have to report on the Iraqi government's progress toward benchmarks such as quelling sectarian violence, disarming militias and sharing oil revenue equitably. Congress would then have to vote in late July to release the remaining funds...

    Who could be against "sharing oil revenue equitably"?

    Well, everyone would be if it were called what it is- a brazen theft on a scale unimagined to benefit Big Oil and it was all planned in the Re-Animator's successfully hidden Energy Policy meetings in early '01.

    We are killing hundreds of thousands of people to steal from them. Really.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. -Aldous Huxley

    by Dave925 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 12:12:20 AM PDT

  •  Sigh. (11+ / 0-)

    How many more will die between now and September? What will have changed?

    The face saving and hand wringing make me want to vomit.

    "Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception." -- George Orwell

    by Autarkh on Tue May 08, 2007 at 12:13:49 AM PDT

  •  How a "Peace or Death" Bill Becomes a Law! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MouseOfSuburbia

    This seems to be Boehner  writing Democratic legislation.  I don't like it, simply because I am opposed to working with them.  You all know the reasons I am opposed to working with them!

    I would prefer that we allow the Democratic Presidential candidates submit legislation, no, wait, that isn't right, either...

    Hmmm, how can we get a decent proposal before the President that will eventually get the Republican Party's backing?  Wow, my snark-o-meter just pegged!

    The American people are saying, through the polls, to find a way to defeat the president.  Nancy, it is your gavel, it is your job.  The men couldn't do it, but by golly I know you can!

    There's your proposal, GOP.  Death* or End the War.  That, my friends, is the choice, ultimately.

    *-  to your party.

    •  There is another way... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluesee, DC Scott

      When you said..

      Nancy, it is your gavel, it is your job.  The men couldn't do it, but by golly I know you can!

      That got me thinking. They impeached Clinton for a blowjob....WELL? Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

      C'mon girls, take one for the team.

      This sentence has threee erors.

      by MouseOfSuburbia on Tue May 08, 2007 at 03:18:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your comment worries me that too many (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluesee, Kickemout

      feel the same way:

      I don't like it, simply because I am opposed to working with them.

      The world is not so black and white. If the new liberals (like the netroots) are so intransigent and intolerant of opposing views, then what do we stand for? Tolerance has always been our mantra. If that changes and we become a dictatorship of one view only with no ability to reason and bargain in good faith with the opposition, I want no part of that kind of liberalism. That's what Lenin was all about.

      •  Your comment presumes all opposing views share (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluesee

        either a political, moral, or rational equivalency . . . they don't.  I'm all for the reality of political compromise, but to compromise with people (GOP and this administration) who will distort reality, trade blood for oil rather than make changes to use it more efficiently, and continue to destabilize sovereign nations (regardless of who created them) in their fundamentalist zeal to create a new world order, are not people I wish to compromise with.  The future of the rule of law and the very soul of our nation depends upon not making the wrong compromises.

        "The fate of the world is in the hands of a bunch of guys I wouldn't trust with a potato gun!"--Armageddon

        by rrheard on Tue May 08, 2007 at 07:30:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So Open-Minded Your Brain Falls Out? (0+ / 0-)

        I think I understand, but to me the argument, the debate is not now respected.  It is the dialogue which is being disrespected, and one cannot reason therefore with the unreasonable.

        As long as they continue to act the way they are acting, I see no benefit from engaging with them.  NONE!

        Tolerance?  I tolerate them like I would tolerate any budding fascist regime.  Extremely grudgingly.

  •  So they essentially caved...incredible. (9+ / 0-)

    All they had to do was not send a bill back.  Or send a tougher one back.   NOW they offer to kill months more worth of troops to satisy the blood lust of Republicans?

    A bunch of fucking weaklings.  

    They now will have even more blood on their hands for nothing.

    Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

    by dov12348 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 01:51:20 AM PDT

  •  BooMan, tireless, intrepid, and best of all... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CaptUnderpants

    You share.

    Thanks

    This sentence has threee erors.

    by MouseOfSuburbia on Tue May 08, 2007 at 02:17:26 AM PDT

  •  Pass a "Victory in Iraq" bill (13+ / 0-)

    That declares the war over and won since we met our objectives of ensuring no wmd and ousting Saddam. Fund only an immediate withdrawal of ALL troops.

    Then sit back and watch the idiot explain why he is vetoing victory.

  •  This isn't a good plan, this is capitualation (8+ / 0-)
    This bill doesn't begin to end the war in any way. Slow bleed? WTF?

    Are we really going to be happy with this? Why not send him the same bill back again. It's his war, he will want the money badly enough to sign the bill, and he will blink first. How is it brilliant to attempt to avoid a veto? It is weak kneed, softball style politics.

    Is this what it has come to? We capitulate, and then write diaries about how brilliant it all is? Honestly, I love your writing booman, but this diary is just spin...

    You know we live in strange times when hearing something as simple as the truth almost seems shocking.

    by redhaze on Tue May 08, 2007 at 03:16:15 AM PDT

  •  I just hope one day they'll have to answer... (5+ / 0-)

    ...questions like these:

    "My son died in Iraq in June of 2007.  Why did you vote to pay for extending the occupation?"

    Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

    by dov12348 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 04:22:42 AM PDT

  •  "Not helpful" = "ya got me." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Scott

    No excuse for a Republican in Congress to vote against this.

    None.

    Period.

    Not that there was before, but now they can't even pretend.

  •  Why is funding the war we all know should end (7+ / 0-)

    a good thing?

    Someone please explain the wisdom behind this strategery.  

    Thanks.

    •  Holding the Caucus together (0+ / 0-)

      This isn't a compromise or negotiation by the Democrats with Boehner or Bush. It is a negotiation between factions of the Democratic party. The chief focus of Pelosi is -- and I think rightly should be -- holding her caucus together. This is really difficult to do -- but this bill just might do it. It might keep the House Democrats unified. It might, under the force of this unity, generate similar resolution among Senate Democrats (who still seem to be tending toward something weaker). Such UNITY, from House and Senate Dems, is the best, and, perhaps the only, way to keep real pressure on Bush and work to end the war.

      "We have found the weapons of mass destruction" -- George Bush, May 30, 2003

      by awol on Tue May 08, 2007 at 06:03:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So if, in unity, the Democratic caucus (4+ / 0-)

        jumped off a bridge, would that be a Good Thing too?

        Because, while I appreciate your explanation of the thinking behind this, the decision the Dems have apparently arrived at still sounds like a pile of pointlessly conciliatory and incidentally murderous bull crap.

        •  I don't think the whole caucus (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Black Maned Pensator

          would jump off a bridge. Take, for instance, opposition to the war in 2002. As Meteor Blades recently pointed out, many members of the House Democrats voted passionately against the war. The Republicans succeed when they split the Dems and thus render them, almost literally, without any power. I think most members of Daily Kos have a lot of trust -- earned over the years -- in some members of the Democratic caucus. They stand for us; they represent us. We can't all negotiate this bill, but we can feel confidence that certain members of the Democratic party articulate our position and our passion. So if Pelosi is able to hold the whole caucus together (still a big if of course), it's important because it means that a large number of citizens can look quite seriously at the bill and understand that people who they know are smart and ethical and thoughtful politicians (not the entire Democratic party, by any means, but those members who have earned this trust) -- and, in this case, politicians who are passionately anti-war and want to do whatever they can to effectively STOP the war -- support the bill.

          The bill will murder people -- I agree. It will fund the war for several more months while attempting to build more pressure on Bush and Republicans, after these two months, to bring this murderous war to a halt. But if Pelosi can bring the anti-war caucus on board, I think it will be because they've concluded after thinking very carefully about the situation that there is no other way to actually bring this war to an end more quickly. There are ways, clearly, to register dissent -- but to actually either pass legislation that would end the war or STOP legislation from being passed that would extend the war for longer?

          "We have found the weapons of mass destruction" -- George Bush, May 30, 2003

          by awol on Tue May 08, 2007 at 08:17:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Maned Pensator

      can't end the war by failing to supply money that is needed shortly.  It could lead to military vulnerabilities in the field and, frankly, chaos.

      Ideally, we would pass a bill that funds the demobilization and repositioning of the troops.  But we can't get that passed, and certainly can't get it signed into law.

      The only responsible thing to do is punt.  We punt the ball to Bush.  He has until July to show progress.  Then we go at it again, but this time with increased strength that should fracture the Republican caucus.

      Secondly, by implementing the Murtha standards, we make it impossible to deploy new units (or, if there is a waiver, we make it politically costly).  The draw down should begin out of simple necessity.

      There is a timeline in this bill.  It's in July.  

      The alternative would have been to get into a showdown where the troops would go without funding.   Just because Bush is acting irresponsibly, doesn't mean that we have to do the same thing.

      •  Why can't the Dems say to Bush (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Black Maned Pensator, redhaze

        "We're submitting this same bill one more time.  Mr. President, if you veto it, that will be the end of the war.  Our intention is to end the war.  The American public wants you to end the war.  Americans want us to make you end the war.  We have the power and the obligation to do that, and we will do so.  If you veto this bill again, we will defund the war.  No more funding.  Got that?  We will no longer fund the war.  You have created a situation that has no positive outcome, and we are ending now rather than dragging out the carnage.  If this bill is vetoed again, we will announce that there will be no more funding, no bill to pass.  We are making you withdraw the troops.  You and your generals will have to come up with a plan to remove them in as orderly a way as possible, immediately.  Submit the plan to us and we will write an emergency bill to fund what you need to bring them home.  And that is all you get.  You will not leave our troops there to die en masse.  The congress has the power to say no more war, and that is what we will be saying should you veto our bill again.  You will start to end the war now Mr. President by signing the bill, or you will end the war now Mr. President by forcing us to defund.  Your choice, end of story."

        •  It sounds like a good option to me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Susan Something

          But what do I know?  I'm just a liberal smarty pants.

          •  ha! What do I know either (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            redhaze

            I'm just an asshole citizen who gets pandered to, pulls the lever, and then gets told I don't want them to win again if I expect them to do their jobs effectively.  I'm sure I'm terribly misguided to think that the Dems could win future elections by being strong, decisive leaders.  Politics is the art of compromise, right?  I obviously don't get how many democratic votes are to be found by an artful party who gets few results, but is yielding, and, well, just plum nice.  Things are too complicated for me to understand. I am such a simpleton to want them to kick ass and to think that voters would respect that.

  •  Couldn't disagree more! (6+ / 0-)

    This is weak capitulation.  We are caving in yet again?  We have a true mandate from the 2006 elections to end this illegal war!  We must end this war; we have a moral obligation to do so!  And while I agree that compromise is sometimes necessary, this is one of those occasions where compromise should be totally off the table given the stakes involved if we continue this war.  Congress should both immediately revoke the authorization for this war and refuse to provide any further funding for this war.  Then if Bush still refuses to follow the will of the American people and their elected representatives, the Democrats should take his ass to Court since he would then be acting outside of the scope his executive power!

  •  Oh and just another note, if ANY of the (4+ / 0-)

    presidential candidates vote for this weak ass piece of crap legislation, they will not be getting my vote in the primary, period!  Do you hear that Obama and Clinton?  I like both of you, but if you capitulate and vote for this weak piece of crap legislation, you will lose my vote along with a lot of other people's votes!

    •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

      How fucking spineless do you have to be to go up against a president whose average approval rating is slowly descending to 30%, and 60+% of the public is already on your side?

      Tony Snow is, for once, absolutely right. This is not helpful. It is an utter capitulation to the idea that failing to fund this war will hurt our troops. It is a statement that the Dems will never use their funding power to end this war.

  •  I was afraid this would be the result (9+ / 0-)

    So many people were all ecsatic over the original supplemental because it contained timelines. We all knew it would be vetoed, and we all knew the real battle would be what happened afterward.
    Well, Bush vetoed it, his approval ratings dropped to 28% and the Democratic response it to withdraw the timelines. Those of you who get so defensive about all those charges of the "spineless" Democrats, well, this is the sort of thing that creates that impression. The public wants this war over, they are blaming Bush and the Republicans for it completely, and the Democrats are still afraid to stick to their guns and demand an end game.

  •  Why give him any money at all? (5+ / 0-)

    Bush is lucky he got a bill in the first place.  He vetoed it.  So to hell with him and his vanity war.  

    The man is a spoiled little brat and needs to be treated as such.  Just say "NO".

    Every day we fund another day of occupation, we kill more troops.  

    Fund the troops = kill the troops.

    To fund this disaster means you're a Troopkiller.  That's the painful truth and the bottom line.

    •  Bush is stamping his feet, in a temper tantrum (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DC Scott

      I agree that they should not fund this war anymore, but this does seem to be a very smart compromise by the Dems that takes away the talking point of the Democrats not caring about the troops (which we know is BS, but Mr. and Mrs. Uninformed can't figure out throught all the BS the republican party throws out there) and puts Bush on a leash. A tight one. Held by Pelosi.

      I like it. Bush will hate it. :)

      My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

      by adigal on Tue May 08, 2007 at 06:48:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right on man... (0+ / 0-)

      Sometimes I feel like the sane ones around these parts are taking crazy pills. I swear, what passes for the CW around here can sometimes sound like inside the beltway moralizing.

      How are we supposed to pressure the Dems. to do the right things when we have some of our best and brightest pumping out diaries that sound like little more than spin pieces for whatever it is our party is doing? Seriously, diaries like this just really depress me, and make me think we are fighting for nothing. Whatever, we will fight anyways. Thanks for reading my rant, if you happen to see it (I realized the life of this diary expired awhile back)!

      You know we live in strange times when hearing something as simple as the truth almost seems shocking.

      by redhaze on Wed May 09, 2007 at 01:10:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  STRIP Opponents of committees, of perks, of pork (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Scott, rrheard

    for back home.

    why pussyfoot around to see what flat-earth DINO's and thugs want?

    f$$$ing TELL them what they will do, OR

    start closing gov't offices in their districts.

    ugh.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 05:54:42 AM PDT

  •  It needs a good name (0+ / 0-)

    "The Ultimate defense of American Troops" Bill

    earmark the cash to highly specific things.
    -body armor
    -vehicle upkeep

    Let Bush Veto it

  •  Inviting the administration to lie again? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adigal, JML9999

    The remaining $52.5 billion in the bill would be contingent on a second vote in late July, after the administration's progress report.

    On its face it seems silly.  Of course they'll say there's progress -- or that they're just starting to make progress.  But with a majority of the country and of Congress expecting another lie, maybe in July or September the same old BS won't be enough.

    Can Karl Rove come up with new BS by then?  Probably, but he seems strangely stuck on trying to sell the same old BS.

    We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

    by david78209 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 06:02:09 AM PDT

    •  Why wait for more BS? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan Something

      We'll just get more recycled BS. What's the point?

      No amount of shame is ever enough to change republican minds, so why bother giving them time for more BS at the expense of more blood shed.

      We already have a 70% majority anti-war backing with the public.

      There isn't any way for republicans to save face anyway, so we need to bite the bullet and at the very least send the same bill,....including timelines, back.

      Edwards put healthcare reform on the table in a very credible way and is tough enough to make HR 676,....the ultimate goal, achievable.

      by fayeforcure on Tue May 08, 2007 at 06:23:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My take is - there are certain Senators who need (0+ / 0-)

        to convey an image they want to present as candidates, and unfortunately they are two different images - they want to be seen as anti-war during the primaries, but tough hawks in a general should they become the nominee.  So, their needs may be effecting the overall writing of these withdrawal bills. They need to factor in the news media and its willingness to spin any story against a Democrat, as they have increasingly since 1997.

        And, unfortunately, even many Democrats have fallen for the media spin about Democratic lawmakers, so, obviously, a candidate WILL act according to pressure from the media, even if it is a lie or spin.

        Do you think Hillary really WANTED to join with Bush and McCain when she attacked John Kerry? She HAD to adopt their lie because she knew the media would treat her better for siding with Bush against Kerry.

        Poor Hillary really had no choice but to join the RW lie since she needs to become a Margaret Thatcher in the general election to win, and she and her team know it.  And she'll need the press to pull it off.

        Blame the media who forces centrist Democrats to spin against other Democrats and even themselves.  I doubt they would do so if it didn't fit into their overall media plan to appeal to the right in the general.

    •  There is the administration then there is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209

      the Goopers in congress.

      Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 08:03:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a boo plan for iraq (0+ / 0-)

    Boo! :p

  •  What's to Like? (7+ / 0-)

    Like all Democrat-generated funding bills, long or short term, it puts Democrats on the record as supporting the war -- voting for its funding -- time after time.  The bill you describe has the added advantage -- for Republicans -- of making the Democrats vote to fund the war even more often.  The Republicans can just sit back and make the Democrats pass this; the Republicans can even vote against it.

    By the time this process plays itself out, the Democrats will be the ones voting to fund the war and the Republicans will be on record opposing it.

    Why should Democrats pick up the burden of funding a Republican war?  

    Armando and Steve Soto are right.  Make the Republicans gather 60 votes in the Senate to get their war funding.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Tue May 08, 2007 at 06:08:53 AM PDT

    •  The Dems look reasonable (0+ / 0-)

      To non-political junkies the Dems come out of this looking like the adults. Cutting funding or even not compromising on timelines makes the Dems the owners of this fiasco by default. Whatever happens from that point forward is going to be cast as their doing.

      I like this plan for several reasons. It funds the war through Sept. (a Republican deadline). It forces more debate in July. It shows the American people they are doing what they can to keep this president under control and in check. But best of all, Iraq remains Bush's war. The Republican's war.

      Dems come off looking like competent and serious leaders who are trying to solve an untenable situation of the president's creation by keeping him on a short leash.

      •  Sounds Like DC Consultant-speak to Me n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Susan Something

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        by kaleidescope on Tue May 08, 2007 at 07:43:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Patience (0+ / 0-)

          Fact is Republicans would get their 60 votes in the Senate to kill any bill that cut off funds and the Dems would not only look unreasonable to the casual political observer, but they'd look defeated.

          But more importantly, the debate about cutting funding and ending the occupation would be settled for as long as Bush remains in office and people would still be dying in Iraq at the same rate.

          While taking a measured approach is not very satisfying to people like you and me, it will (I beleive) lead us to withdrawal sooner and result in fewer dead people in the long haul. At least that's my hope.

      •  A More Substantive Reply (0+ / 0-)

        The Democrats already looked reasonable.  They passed a funding measure that was supported by a majority of the people.  Bush vetoed it and the R's voted to sustain his veto.  At that point it becomes their problem.  Let them get 60 votes in the Senate.  

        To come back to Bush without real deadlines is just to have the Democrats bend over to let the Republicans drive.  Yet again.

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        by kaleidescope on Tue May 08, 2007 at 07:56:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have just politicized the war.... (0+ / 0-)

        and many more will die to make Dems look good, or to possibly win an election. It is unprincipled and cowardly.

        •  More people will die... (0+ / 0-)

          More people will die if Dems force the Senate to vote on cutting funding because they will lose that vote. That's just a political reality. At which point the matter of defunding the war and withdrawing the troops will be settled for as long as Bush remains in power. Meanwhile, the Dem's efforts to end this thing are slowed while people in Iraq continue to die at the same rate (or worse).

  •  In the meantime Cheney (0+ / 0-)

    heads to the middle east again. Hmm..think the Saudias are going to him a whatfor again. They don't want us tp pull out and I believe are blackmailing Darth Cheney and his little puppet Bush.

    Frodo failed....Bush has got the ring!

    by Alohaleezy on Tue May 08, 2007 at 06:11:53 AM PDT

  •  It might have been said already,but... (0+ / 0-)

    I have some reservations about the plan. Granted,I like the idea of making the GOP vote on Iraq over and over and over again,but come September,what are the chances that the surge will be deemed a "failure"? None.

    We,who live in the reality based world know damn well that Bush,Cheney,et al will never admit to defeat in Iraq. Either they plan to keep going forward with the war past September,surge or no surge and hope that Boner and company will still salute the plan or will try a major propaganda campaign for 2008 to blame the Dems for "losing the war".

    However,I am under no illusions that no matter how much Michael Ware and the non-FAUX based reporters tell us that the surge is and was a failure,it will be deemed to be a success. Why stop lying now?

    •  This the crucial point that all of the supporters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fiona West

      of "make Bush come back and ask again" fail to consider.

      Bush, Cheney,et al will never admit to defeat in Iraq.

      So, come September and Gen. Petreaus reports:  "Things are still tough, but I think I can see some positive movement."  

      We say, "It's still not working; Publicans, honor your promise, stop the funding, and get the troops out now."  

      They say, "Nonsense, the surge is working, the enemy is in its last throes and we only need a few more months until total victory."

      Result:  September = now, except with about 350 more American deaths, thousands more American injuries, and who knows how many Iraqi civilian casualties.

      •  Except maybe some Republicans will be ready to (0+ / 0-)

        help over-ride a veto, as it becomes more and more obvious to the public that the Surge is a Flop, and more and more obvious to Republicans in Congress that they're being asked to walk off a cliff to keep CHeney and BUsh from having to deal with the reality of their failure.  

        Or maybe the investigations will have spotlighted and documented enough of this administration's crimes to put impeachment on the table.

        The Democrats have to stay united and gain Republican votes for an override, or Republican votes to impeach. Nothing else will get us out of Iraq before January 2009, and that's the grim ugly truth of the matter.

        We can comfort ourselves that the Republican party is digging itself a deeper and deepeer hole, but it's our troops and the Iraqi people who are paying the price.  So there's damned little comfort.

        Remember back when the Nader crowd was saying that the two major parties are both so far from the changes we need that it doesn't matter which of them wins?

        I wonder if they can tell the difference now.

  •  You are right, a clear obvious move toward (0+ / 0-)

    responsibility and accountability so perhaps it is something Chimpy will have a more difficult time with the veto.  

    Behind closed doors Chimpy's lame ass buddies want out now too and given the right exit will stampede.  

    Good.  Now eat your spinach Chimpy.  

  •  Giving Bush ANY money is a dem defeat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, pullbackthecurtain

    The congress controls the war purse. All they have to do is hold strong and tell the republicans who are saying the Dems are not supporting the troops to go fuck themselves with their "political theater" talking points-- that the troops must have proper training and gear and a plan to get them out or the pentagon doesn't get funded and will be forced to pull them out.

    Hang tough, don't let the repugs frame the "support the troops" discussion anymore.

    <font="red">The Republicans blocking proper troop funding and a timeline for exiting from Iraq have the blood on their hands of every American who dies in Iraq since the Bush Veto was not overridden.</font>

  •  We need to counter the "slow bleed" meme. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Scott, JML9999

    By highlighting the repulic's alternative, the "rush to death" strategy.

    •  This isn't slow bleed this is an intervention. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DC Scott

      Congress is intervening  in a mismanaged catastrophe that failed day-1 once this incompetent administration failed to put enough troops Day-1.

      Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 08:01:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One more day is too many. (3+ / 0-)

    This war is illegal and started by lies, that even the Democrats did not look deeply into.  Shame of them and us.  The Democrats should figure out how to bring our troops back to the United States and stop trying to be an Empire!

  •  The only funding that should be available (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    green917, Susan Something

    is for GETTING OUT! If your kid's on fire, you don't pay someone to pour more gasoline on him until September because by then, your alcoholic delusional spouse might wake up and smell the napalm!

    Good grief.

    What a pack o' wimps.

    We are screwed.

    •  Exactly, protect the troops as we.... (0+ / 0-)

      withdraw and redeploy safely. The killing of Americans and the incredible loss will go down. Meanwhile, raise the diplomatic profile and provide economic assistance because we can't morally just abandon Iraq. But military options: shut it down NOW! And don't tell me "we don't have the votes". That is DC doublespeak. It is THEIR job to find the votes. Time to play hardball.

  •  unfortunate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SkiBumLee, green917, vivian darkbloom

    a bill that removes the timetable that a majority of americans want in order to appease the republicans.

    I don't care about benchmarks for the Iraqi government.  For them to finally provide proof they are moving forward does not suddenly validate the U.S. presence there.  It's illegal, it's not helpful, and it's likely the catalyst for much of the violence.

    I hope a lot of dems vote against this bill.  I'd rather see the funding locked up in bickering and in-fighting than this bill get passed.

    •  exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SkiBumLee

      and when did the rethugs ever write a bill with appeasing dems in mind?  never.  they used every dirty trick they could think of to pass whatever the fuck they wanted and told the dems to get lost if they didn't like it.

      I'm really annoyed that they are already talking about removing the timelines, this is giving up way too quickly in my opinion...

  •  Bush's veto; Fickle nature of the popular support (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican Congress got away with making the Dems irrelevant because Bush wasn't going to veto anything they passed.

    The majority of Americans that believe some kind of timeline is necessary is thin enough to evaporate at the first sign of trouble because of funding.

    Bush has acted crazy enough that everyone should be able to believe that he would let 130,000 American soldiers die before he would give in.

    We need to stop whining about the good guys and start hammering Republicans who are refusing to allow this war to end.  Write MSM - write your Republican Congresscritter - write somebody and don't quit.

    There is in the nature of things an unchangeable relation between rash counsels and feeble execution. -- Daniel Webster 1812

    by SimplyLeft on Tue May 08, 2007 at 08:23:54 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for posting this diary. (0+ / 0-)

    I haven't seen this anywhere else and as you say, it makes a lot of sense.  Leave it to dumya to veto again.

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all - JFK- 5/18/63-Vanderbilt Univ.

    by oibme on Tue May 08, 2007 at 08:25:08 AM PDT

  •  Sigh.... (0+ / 0-)

    if only I didn't have to live for tomorrow...

  •  I love the smell of ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Militarytracy

    leadershit in the morning.

    It takes my breath way.

  •  I see no reason to call this "slow bleed" (0+ / 0-)

    It isn't the Dems fault that the military has been abused and now that they may be able to stop that Bush doesn't have enough trained rested soldiers to fight his war with.  I do suggest we take responsibility for the efforts put forth with different wording than "slow bleed".  Not really crazy about the bill but if it ends shattering the spine of our military I do see something good in it.

    In the Pajamahadeen I'm Scooby-Doo!

    by Militarytracy on Tue May 08, 2007 at 09:15:56 AM PDT

  •  So what will be the difference in July? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcartri

    We all know, even the generals and the rethugs, that nothing substantive will be done. Bushco., however, has more time to convince the American people with the help of the MSM, that "progress is being made".

    Stripping the benchmarks of meaningful deadlines and consequences (except to revisit in July) is a weak approach, lacking of courage and principle.

  •  The Out of Iraq caucus should pull out.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SkiBumLee, mcartri, pioneer111

    of this deal. They played ball with the Bluedogs and look what we get. More capitulation. Another vote in July after Bush has three months to spin the progress made in Iraq. July, when noone is watching???? Dog days. School vacations. This is pure capitulation.

    LET THE BLUEDOGS vote with the rethugs to provide funding for the war, then run primary challenges against them.

    •  I'm with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SkiBumLee

      I just don't see the reason to cooperate with Bush.  We know what the result will be.

      It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

      by pioneer111 on Tue May 08, 2007 at 10:03:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Noon January 20, 2009 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SkiBumLee

      It makes no difference what Bluedogs, Greenmice, Libs or any other group wants. Our troops dying in the Iraqi Civil War will continue 'til The EX-Decider walks down the Capitol's steps. It's all spin and wind until a Democrat takes the Presidential oath on January 20, 2009.

  •  It is a TRAP - (3+ / 0-)

    It is a TRAP - by going along until September - Democrats have ownership of this war - and the Republicans will muddy the water and confuse the public.

    The American People Want - - - Binding
    resolutions - - - A definate out - asap.

    By September The goodwill that has been bestowed upon the Democratic Majority will have fizzled.
    Now is the time to hit hard - Keep the War a Rerublican War. Make the republicans vote for their war over and over again!!!!! Toss them an Anchor!

  •  This is such bullshit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redhaze

    They already know that this war is lost and nothing anyone can do will change that.  Especially George Bush who can't seem to do anything except turn water into urine.

    The Democratic leadership is trying to have it both ways.  If they aren't going to vote to end the occupation now, what makes us think they'll vote to end it in three months?

    This is a stalling tactic to keep us complacement.

    Formerly of Los Angeles, now in the FL Panhandle(Lower Alabama) I blog at ThisIsWhatDemocracyLooksLike.com

    by Thom K in LA on Tue May 08, 2007 at 01:00:35 PM PDT

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